“I can’t be this dude. He’s too good. He’s got all the right words and knows how to deliver them the right way.”
I mean, watch this video and try to live up to this.
But it’s ok that I can’t be Chris, and here’s why. I’m just trying to be myself.
Years and years ago I was still under the spell of thinking that I needed to duplicate what other people did in order to be successful. I thought if I could just write a blog about blogging like Problogger I’d be as successful. Or if I could master public speaking like Jay Berkowitz, or become a technology blogger turned publisher like Dave Taylor, etc… On and on…
It didn’t, and doesn’t work. The first reason is that copycats may be able to copy a format, but hardly ever do they copy the success. The second reason, and the most important reason, is that it’s pointless to try and be something that you are not. We’ve seen it a million times. How many people have tried to become the next Shoemoney or John Chow or Zac Johnson in the “make money online” blogging biz? Thousands. Yet nobody can crack those guys out of the top position. Why? Because they’re good and they continue to be themselves and kill their niche with high-quality, helpful, problem-solving content. Oh yeah, and hard work and passion.
I teach students at the University of San Francisco about online marketing. So many of them come in “fresh off the boat” wanting to learn how to copy someone else’s success. I don’t blame them, not at all. It sounds like an easy path to success. But I quickly work to turn them from that goal… of making the same mistake I made years and years ago.
The truth is that until you find yourself, and your passion, and then become comfortable with what you do and what you say and how you do it… you’ll never be truly remarkable. You’ll be a half-assed version of someone else. How far is that going to take you? Perhaps you can make a nice living off of it for years and years. But will you ever get the attention you could? Will you ever be known for being a leader or innovator? Probably not.
The problem is this. It takes time. It can take years even. For some it happens instantly. For some it doesn’t (me). You have to be patient and diligent and keep plugging away and eventually you’ll find where you fit in and what you are all about.
No, I’m not as smart as Chris Brogan, or Brian Solis or David Armano or Scott Stratten or Liz Strauss or Mari Smith or Jason Falls or Brian Clark or Shannon Paul or Elizabeth Weinstein or Marsha Collier or Technosailor or thousands of more I could post here who outsmart me by MILES. (If you didn’t make that list, sorry, I can’t list you all. You’re still smarter than me.)
I’m as smart as Jim Kukral. I’ve got my own thing going on, and I like it.